Runbeck Election Services Partners with Pennsylvania to Provide Innovative New Ballot Packet Sorting and Scanning System
September 30, 2022
Runbeck Election Services, is excited to bring a new election technology solution to the market. The Agilis Falcon is the third addition to the ballot packet management systems provided by Runbeck. It includes all of the powerful features provided by the original Agilis sorter, but has been redesigned for counties with midsize volumes of inbound ballot packets. Pennsylvania will be the first in the nation to implement the Agilis Falcon, with Monroe and Lehigh County paving the way for use of the advanced technology in their vote-by-mail elections. Runbeck Election Services recently began selling the advanced ballot sorting technology to provide a trustworthy and more affordable election experience to counties across the nation.
“Runbeck Election Services is proud to partner with Monroe County and Lehigh County in delivering secure and transparent elections. The Agilis Falcon ballot packet sorter will allow local election officials to sort mail ballots locally while scanning for signatures, dates, and weight of the envelope,” said Jeff Ellington, CEO at Runbeck Election Services. “This technology assists in streamlining the process and identifying ballot envelopes that need manual review, decreasing the necessary manpower to operate elections locally. Runbeck Election Services will continue to introduce new technology to increase the efficiency and security of elections nationwide.”
The Agilis Falcon provides election officials the ability to sort their own mail-in ballot envelopes and verify voter signatures with complete accuracy and a full audit trail inside their own secure facility.
Key features and benefits of the Agilis Falcon include:
- Capability of processing upwards of 4,500 mail ballots per hour.
- Scans mail-in ballot envelopes to detect thin/thickness to verify the correct contents of the ballot packet.
- Scans and extracts signature images from the ballot envelope for digital comparison and faster verification by election officials.
- Eliminates the movement of ballots around an office so all non tabulated ballots remain in a secure location during sorting and signature verification.
- Configurable to county specifications with full reporting and audit capabilities.
Runbeck Election Services staff will assist with support services including installation, training, and preventative maintenance.
Cobb County’s Vote Center Hubs Make Elections More Efficient and Secure
May 23, 2022
With continued attention on election security and transparency, Cobb County is utilizing a new type of transport and storage equipment called Vote Center Hubs to add an additional layer of security to the in-person voting process. Manufactured in America by Flexmet and exclusively provided by Runbeck Election Services, Vote Center Hubs are designed to save time during the polling place setup process and provide for easy and secure storage when not in use.
“Setting up and taking down our voting center locations can take a massive amount of time, manpower, and resources. With these Vote Center Hubs, you plug it in, open a door and it’s ready to go,” said Janine Eveler, Director of Cobb County Elections and Registration. “Most importantly, the Hubs have an added level of security for when our equipment is in storage.”
Vote Center Hub models are purpose-built with two points of security, including keylocks and a security seal space. They are constructed of durable powder-coated steel and sturdy locking caster wheels, making the hubs both sturdy and easily movable. Cobb County has deployed 628 Vote Center Hubs across the county for early voting and Primary Election Day on May 24, 2022.
“Following the primary and primary runoff, we’ll be able to store our Vote Center Hubs efficiently and securely until we need them again for the General Election in November,” added Eveler.
“Counties like Cobb County are setting a great example when it comes to doing all that they can to help voters understand and trust the elections process,” said Rizwan Fidai, Vice President of Sales at Runbeck Election Services. “When Cobb County voters see these Vote Center Hubs in action, they should recognize the investment that Cobb County has made in ensuring transparent and secure elections.”
Runbeck Election Services also partners with Coweta County and Fulton County in Georgia to provide Vote Center Hubs, in addition to several other counties across the country. Runbeck Election Services is the exclusive provider of the Flexmet Vote Center Hubs and offers a multitude of products and services to fit all election needs.
Runbeck Election Services Appoints Ken Matta as CIO
May 18, 2022
Runbeck Election Services, an elections services company focused on delivering election printing, equipment, and software solutions, announced that Ken Matta has been appointed Chief Information Officer. Matta most recently served as Arizona’s election security chief at the Secretary of State’s office. Throughout his twenty-year tenure in his previous position, Matta worked through five administrations and administered testing on voting systems across the state.
“Ken’s expertise in election security will be a great asset to Runbeck Election Services as we continue to be a trusted election partner for jurisdictions across the country,” said Jeff Ellington, CEO of Runbeck Election Services. “All of us at Runbeck congratulate Ken on a great career in public service and are looking forward to seeing his impact on our company and for our customers.”
Matta’s IT and election experience began at the Secretary of State’s office in 2002, and includes election operations, software design, system administration, network administration, information security, and all other facets of election security. Matta will be working directly with the Runbeck Election Services executive team to provide expertise that will allow Runbeck to further drive innovation in the election industry.
“Throughout my career, I have always wanted to raise the standards to continuously improve election security. I am eager to do just that, and on a larger scale, with the team at Runbeck Election Services,” said Ken Matta, CIO at Runbeck Election Services. “I am grateful for all that I was able to accomplish while working at the Secretary of State’s office and am inspired to tackle what lies ahead in my new role.”
Matta is a state-certified election officer and currently sits on several federal and state committees focused on election security. In his personal life, Matta enjoys spending time with his kid, working on and driving muscle cars and motorcycles, and hiking wherever is possible.
Runbeck Election Services Recognized at Arizona Corporate Excellence Awards
November 16, 2021
Runbeck Election Services, an election technology solutions company focused on delivering printing, equipment and software solutions, was recognized as the 40th Top Private Company and the 19th Fastest Growing Company in Arizona at the Phoenix Business Journal’s Arizona Corporate Excellence Awards.
The companies recognized at the Arizona Corporate Excellence Awards all combined generate more than $15 billion in revenue per year, while employing 40,000 employees in the state, and 56,000 people worldwide. The Top 50 Private Companies are crucial to the economy of Arizona, the job market, and to the families of their employees.
“Through the past year, we’ve worked extra hard to share our message of Defending Democracy wherever possible and ensure people that they should be confident the election process,” said Jeff Ellington, President and CEO of Runbeck Election Services. “Being recognized as a top company in Arizona has been a great reminder of the real impact we have been making as a company in this state.”
Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, the company has five decades of experience delivering accurate, efficient, and secure elections for its partners. For the 2020 general election, Runbeck’s vote-by-mail services and other election products and technology reached more than 70 million voters in 22 states and the District of Columbia—more than one-third of the estimated number of registered voters in the United States. Runbeck grew its vote-by-mail program exponentially for the 2020 election cycle, printing and mailing nearly 16 million ballot packets, more than four times the 3.8 million ballot packets prepared for election partners during the 2016 general election. Compared to just 22 unique ballot customers in 2018, Runbeck worked with 219 ballot customers for the 2020 election.
As the company looks towards next year, they have already started preparing for the 2022 midterm election cycle. They recently purchased two W+D 410 Easy Envelopers in order to fully perform their operations within their production facility. The company hopes to have them installed by the end of 2021 and ready for the 2022 midterm election cycle.
Runbeck Election Services Honored as Finalist at 2021 BBB Torch Awards for Ethics
Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest (BBB) honored Runbeck Election Services, an elections technology solutions company focused on delivering printing, equipment, and software solutions, at the 2021 BBB Torch Awards for Ethics, sponsored by Desert Financial Credit Union. The award, presented on November 16th at an awards ceremony held at the Arizona Biltmore Resort, raises awareness of marketplace ethics and honors businesses that operate with integrity.
“We felt very humbled to have been named as a finalist by the Better Business Bureau for our ethics. At Runbeck Election Services, our mission is to Defend Democracy® and our vision is to restore confidence in the electoral process,” said Jeff Ellington, President and CEO of Runbeck Election Services. “Having the honor to be a finalist validates all of our hard work to deliver quality election solutions across the country. We look forward to continuing our work with integrity and working with the Better Business Bureau again in future years.”
BBB Torch Awards for Ethics is one of the highest honors BBB bestows upon a company and is designed to highlight outstanding ethical businesses. Finalists are selected by an independent panel of volunteer community leaders based on criteria established by the International Association of Better Business Bureaus.
All finalists completed an evaluation where they demonstrated their commitment to ethics and trust in four categories: Character, Culture, Customers, and Community. Finalists illustrated the character of their organization’s leadership, how an authentic culture is being fostered, how the company prioritizes its relationship with customers, and the impact the organization is making in their community.
“Honesty builds trust, which is a vital aspect in the success of a business. For 19 years, BBB has been recognizing outstanding companies in Greater Arizona for their solid commitment to doing things the right way,” said Shelley Bradley, Director of Signature Events for BBB Serving the Pacific Southwest. “This esteemed award recognizes business leaders who demonstrate a superior level of character and ensure their organization’s practices meet the highest ethical standards, thereby generating trust.”
Runbeck Election Services Invests in W+D envelope converting technology to Become “One Stop Shop” for Vote by Mail Services
Runbeck Election Services, an elections technology solutions company focused on delivering printing, equipment and software solutions, announced it has purchased two W+D 410 Easy Envelopers to bring all of the company’s vote-by-mail services within their production facility. With the addition of this new envelope converting machinery, Runbeck will be able to oversee each step in the process of producing vote-by-mail packets for their customers.
“Envelopes are a critical part of the vote-by-mail process, whether we are mailing a ballot to a voter, or a voter is mailing their completed ballot for tabulation. We are pleased to be able to bring this final piece of the process under our control for the first time in our company’s history,” said Bryan Dandurand, Vice President of Operations at Runbeck.
Runbeck expects the new W+D 410’s to be fully installed by the end of 2021 and ready for the 2022 midterm election cycle. Until the Envelopers are installed, Runbeck will continue to fulfill 2021 customer orders for vote-by-mail packets using third party envelope vendors.
“We work with so many jurisdictions across the country, and they each have their own specifications for envelope and ballot design. Purchasing these converting machines will allow us the technology to provide the highest level of customization and chain of custody compliance for their requirements. This can include envelope sizing and now, the integration of mechanisms giving voters the ability to fully track their return envelope as it travels through the USPS system to its final destination,” added Dandurand.
Runbeck invested in additional election technology equipment in 2020 with the purchase of 11 new W+D BB700 S2 high-speed inserters to supplement the five inserters already in operation. As a crucial step in assembling ballot packets, an inserter organizes and inserts voting materials— such as the ballot, voting instructions and return envelope—into a mailing envelope accurately for each voter. With this equipment, Runbeck was able to quadruple their daily ballot packet production capacity to 1.5 million ballot packets to accommodate the increased demand.
For the 2020 general election, Runbeck’s vote-by-mail services and other election products and technology reached more than 70 million voters in 22 states and the District of Columbia—more than one third of the estimated number of registered voters in the United States. More information on Runbeck Election Services can be found at Runbeck.net.
Runbeck Election Services Joins Forces with FlexMet to Offer Vote Center Hubs
July 7, 2021
Runbeck, an elections technology solutions company focused on delivering printing, equipment and software solutions, has successfully partnered with high-tech manufacturer FlexMet to provide Vote Center Hubs for jurisdictions nationwide. The Vote Center Hubs, which encase voting equipment, provide easy voting set-up, a safe voting space, built-in security and mobility for storage.
The Vote Center Hubs were manufactured to help jurisdictions assemble and disassemble their in-person voting centers for each election. Also, costly voting equipment used at voting locations must be stored and protected. The Vote Center Hubs fulfill both crucial needs. The Hubs are designed with two security features to lockdown and protect the equipment when not in use. When elections are completed, the jurisdictions move the mobile, self-contained Hubs to their storage locations.
Jeff Ellington, President and CEO of Runbeck, explains, “This collaboration allows us to solve logistical and security problems that counties encounter with their voting spaces and equipment, which is a major undertaking every election. The Hub is simple and smart—counties can use it, lock it and store it.”
The focus on secure and accessible voting has become a high priority after the 2020 elections. Runbeck and FlexMet merged their resources to offer a practical solution. The Hubs were used successfully in 2020 in offices and Super Vote Centers, and now they are being manufactured at a larger capacity to accommodate more jurisdictions in need of a solution to executing secure elections. The ten models of Vote Center Hubs range from one to four person sections with panels to provide privacy for each voter along with ADA capabilities. The models are built specifically to securely hold major lines of election voting equipment currently used across the country.
Valley Military Moms Supported by Star Spangled Babies® Baby Shower
May 24, 2021
PHOENIX, Ariz. – In honor of Military Appreciation Month, 50 new and expecting military moms were treated to a baby shower just for them. Operation Homefront hosted a Star-Spangled Babies® shower earlier this month at Runbeck Election Services’ headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona.
“Due to deployments and frequent relocation, military parents-to-be often live far from their extended families and support systems,” said Leticia Pena, Operation Homefront program manager. “Our Star-Spangled Babies® showers provide these new and expectant parents with early childhood education tips and a support system when loved ones are far away.”
The event was open to military moms in all ranks of active duty, Guard and Reserve families, and families of wounded, ill, and injured veterans. Every parent received donated gifts and educational information to help them in their new role as a mom.
“Partnering with Operation Homefront to host the Star-Spangled Babies shower was a truly wonderful experience; all of the military moms and moms-to-be were so grateful for the opportunity to participate,” said Elizabeth Sommers, Human Resources Manager at Runbeck. “We are always eager to offer our facilities and volunteer power to support important community causes.”
In addition to the signature Star-Spangled Babies event, Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, long-term struggles. Operation Homefront is prepping for their annual Back to School Brigade, providing hundreds of military children a backpack and school supplies as they prepare for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. If you would like to volunteer or donate to this amazing event, please contact your local Operation Homefront field office or visit www.OperationHomefront.org.
Even during busy election cycles, Runbeck regularly works with nonprofits to provide financial, in-kind and volunteer support. Recently at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Runbeck launched the Feed ‘em Food Fight Challenge. In an effort to help their partners’ across the country, tools and support were provided to organize and replenish their local food banks.
Runbeck Election Services Develops the Nation’s First Online Petition System
April 12, 2021
Runbeck Election Services (Runbeck), an elections technology solutions company focused on delivering printing, equipment and software solutions, has successfully partnered with the City of Boulder to provide the nation’s first online petition system. This unprecedented system takes the petitioning process completely online for constituents and petition management teams. Boulder Direct Democracy Online (BDDO) utilizes Runbeck’s innovative software Vocem® Online Petition System to allow petitions to be endorsed by registered voters.
The City of Boulder and Runbeck worked closely to develop BDDO which became accessible to nearly 80,000 of Boulder’s registered voters on February 8th, 2021. The system supports the electronic endorsement of municipal (non-charter) initiatives, referendums and recalls. Through BDDO, the City Clerk’s office has increased their ability to enfranchise voters and get constituents more involved in the democratic process.
Vocem Online is a web-based application that includes an election office portal and a constituent portal. Jurisdictions have a central place to efficiently manage petitions. All constituents can see and track progress of any available petition. Through an online portal, validated registered voters can endorse petitions from a computer or mobile device. The System validates an endorser through two-factor authentication, and then provides a simple two-click, secure methodology for endorsements.
Jeff Ellington, President and CEO of Runbeck explains, “We are excited to work cohesively on this groundbreaking software technology implementation. The result of this combined effort allows the voice of the voter to be heard on important ballot initiative efforts for the City of Boulder.”
Runbeck initiated development of the Vocem Online Software so jurisdictions across the country could reach a larger proportion of constituents. Petitions traditionally are circulated and endorsed by gathering signatures door-to-door and at public locations by petition circulators. The online platform reduces and can potentially omit the massive amount of time and labor that petitions require for verification of endorsements.
Runbeck Election Services Reacts to Stanford Vote-By-Mail Study
March 17, 2021
A new study from Stanford’s Institute for Economic Policy Research titled “How Did Absentee Voting Affect the 2020 U.S. Election?” finds that neither major political party benefited from increases in absentee voting, or voting by mail, in the 2020 U.S. election.
The study’s abstract states, “The 2020 U.S. election saw high turnout, a huge increase in absentee voting, and brought unified Democratic control at the federal level—yet, contrary to conventional wisdom, these facts do not imply that vote-by-mail increased turnout or had partisan effects… Voter interest appears to be far more important in driving turnout.”
Runbeck Election Services (RES), an elections services company focused on delivering election printing, equipment and technology solutions, explains that their decades of experience with jurisdictions to produce their vote-by-mail solutions backs up the Stanford study’s findings.
“In our mission to defend democracy, we’ve worked with county and state leaders of both major political parties to produce absentee voting programs across the country,” said Jeff Ellington, President and Chief Executive Officer at Runbeck Election Services. “We consistently hear from our partners that once a voter casts their first absentee ballot–regardless of their party affiliation–they love that type of voting experience. It is great to see Stanford compile hard data to back up the fact that voting by mail is a nonpartisan issue.”
The Stanford study took several directions in determining the effects of absentee voting in the 2020 U.S. election. This included analyzing nationwide data as well as looking at the results from a natural experiment in Texas comparing 64-year-old and 65-year-old-voters, since those aged 65 and older were offered universal access to voting by mail. Analysis of this information did not see dramatic increases in turnout for those who voted by mail compared to those who did not. The study concludes, “vote-by-mail is an important policy that voters seem to like using, and it may be a particularly important tool during the pandemic. Despite all that, and despite the extraordinary circumstances of the 2020 election, vote-by-mail’s effect on turnout and on partisan outcomes is very muted, just as research prior to the pandemic would have suggested.”
For the 2020 election season, Runbeck Election Services worked with 219 election partners across the country to produce and mail ballots to voters. RES mailed nearly 16 million ballot packets in thousands of ballot styles for the 2020 general election, more than four times the volume produced for the 2016 general election. RES executives correctly predicted an increased need in their vote-by-mail services as the coronavirus pandemic began spreading across the country in early 2020, but the issue of helping counties and states expand absentee voting has never been a partisan issue for them.
“Voting by mail is just another safe, secure and convenient way for jurisdictions to allow their citizens to vote in elections. As election leaders across the country evaluate how to improve their systems for future elections, our hope is that they will consider the academic evidence such as the results of this recent Stanford study and additional anecdotal evidence from industry experts such as Runbeck Elections Services,” added Ellington.
Runbeck Election Services Concludes 2020 Election Season with Record Numbers
March 4, 2021
Following the full completion of the 2020 election cycle, Runbeck Election Services (Runbeck), an elections technology and services company focused on delivering election printing, equipment and software solutions, announced it had successfully completed its most wide-reaching election cycle to date.
For the 2020 election season, Runbeck’s vote-by-mail services and other election products and technology reached more than 70 million voters in over 21 states and the District of Columbia—more than one third of the estimated number of registered voters in the United States. Through all the primary, general and runoff elections, Runbeck printed more than 80 million ballots and mailed more than 40 million ballot packets.
“Having worked in elections for nearly five decades, the 2020 election cycle was one of the most challenging and unprecedented election cycles with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Jeff Ellington, CEO at Runbeck. “As we review our work over the entire cycle, we are thrilled that we were able to help more jurisdictions than ever before execute accurate and secure elections.”
In 2020, Runbeck installed 11 new BB700 S2 high-speed inserters adding to the five inserters that were already in operation. With this additional equipment, their ballot packet production capacity increased to 1.5 million ballot packets each day. Runbeck printed and mailed nearly 16 million ballot packets for the 2020 general election, more than four times the volume produced for the 2016 general election.
The increased capacity also allowed new partnerships with counties and states for the 2020 election cycle. Compared to just 22 unique ballot partners in 2018, Runbeck worked with 219 ballot partners for the 2020 election.
Even with the exponential growth, Runbeck reports that this election cycle was extremely streamlined, and that they were ultimately successful in delivering ballots and services as requested by their partners.
“Following any election, our ultimate measure of success is the highest possible level of accuracy for our partners,” said Ellington. “The fact that we were able to help so many jurisdictions deliver timely and accurate elections at such a large scale is a testament to our diligent team who are dedicated to defending democracy and protect every vote.”
Runbeck’s range of election services ranges from sophisticated technology to ballot printing and mailing. Runbeck also offers on-demand ballot printing, ballot sorting, ballot software, petition management and election management systems among other services.
Runbeck Election Services Promotes Jeff Ellington to CEO
January 29, 2021
Runbeck Election Services, an elections services company focused on delivering election printing, equipment, and software solutions, announced that Jeff Ellington has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer. He has provided leadership and direction for over a decade in the elections industry, driving improvements of processes while maintaining peak quality standards. Most recently, as President and Chief Operating Officer, Ellington oversaw Runbeck Election Services’ exponential growth during the 2020 election cycle.
“It is a true honor to take on this role of CEO at Runbeck Election Services,” said Jeff Ellington. “I thank everyone for their trust in my leadership and look forward to working with our employees, customers, and partners in continuing to execute our mission to ‘defend democracy.’”
With Ellington ascending to the role of CEO, former CEO Kevin Runbeck will maintain day-to-day duties while assuming the role of Chairman of the Board at Runbeck Election Services. Having taken Runbeck Election Services from a small printing business to a full-service elections company, Runbeck will continue to use his decades of experience in the election industry to advise the company’s executive leadership on best practices. He will also continue in his role to support and drive the culture of the company.
“Jeff is a well-respected leader at our company and within the entire elections industry, it is my pleasure to have him step into the role of CEO and continue to build on Runbeck’s stellar track record and reputation,” said Kevin Runbeck. “I trust that Jeff’s leadership and experience will help ensure the continued long-term success of Runbeck Election Services.”
Ellington joined Runbeck Election Services in 2011 as Vice President of Vote by Mail, and in 2012 he became the Vice President of Field Operations. Since 2015, he has served as Chief Operating Officer and assumed the role of President in 2016. Prior to joining Runbeck, Jeff was the Worldwide Customer Service Manager at MailCode Inc. as well as Product Manager for Pitney Bowes. With multiple years of hands-on experience in elections, he focuses on achieving the highest customer satisfaction and pushing innovation throughout the entire Runbeck team. He champions the Runbeck Lean Manufacturing initiative and consistently refines the strength and cohesiveness of current activity for the future success of all teams and clients.
As the coronavirus pandemic started spreading across the United States in March 2020, amid the 2020 primary election schedule and just before the general election later that year, Ellington accurately predicted an increased demand in vote-by-mail services. He immediately reached out to his suppliers to purchase more machinery that would dramatically increase Runbeck Election Services’ capacity for vote by mail services. This move was critical as the company completely filled all their added capacity and were able to help new jurisdictions implement vote by mail programs to allow their constituents to safely vote during the pandemic. In comparison to the 3.8 million ballot packets produced for the 2016 general election, Runbeck Election Services printed more than 35 million ballots and mailed more than 16 million ballot packets for the 2020 general election.
“I’m excited for our future. Following this most recent election cycle, our company is well positioned to continue offering the highest level of service and products to help jurisdictions across the country seamlessly run elections,” added Ellington.
Jeff is a graduate of Purdue University and former Indiana resident. He and his family now live in Scottsdale and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle that the Southwest offers year-round.